Nobody will be left waiting at the bus stop
Ole S. Edvardsen likes to be a manager, and best thing about the job of interim manager is the people. During his management of OmniService AS, managers and employees will help ensure that the buses will be operational as agreed.
For 14 years, it was all about trains for Ole S. Edvardsen. More specifically, the maintenance of railway vehicles, while CEO of NSB-owned Mantena. Now it is all about the maintenance and servicing of buses, as an interim manager at OmniService AS. That cannot be completely random?
Engineer by profession, manager at heart
On the question of transport being a common thread in Ole Edvardsen's CV, he answers "no". The fact that buses followed trains was actually completely random. Summarising the industries he has been active in during his career, electronics, mechanical, and commerce are also included.
The fact that he thrives in the "engine" - at the core of the operation - there is little doubt about. He started working his working life as an engineer, eventually turning to IT/data management and logistics. When managerial opportunities arose, he found his calling. This is what he has been doing for more than 30 years.
- Quite simply I like to be a manager! I like people, and it is a preoccupation of mine that employees must work together in teams. Nothing is better than succeeding with a team around you, says Edvardsen enthusiastically.
He has managed many employees, in both large companies and groups. Now he manages approximately 30 employees as interim manager of OmniService AS, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Norgesbuss in the Torghatten Group.
- You would think that managing a smaller company with fewer employees is very different, but the dynamics are the same, says Edvardsen.
- My job as a leader is to make sure that employees have what they need to do their job, both individually and in a team. If things are not working at one place in the business, it effects something else. To summarise, there is a dependence on the whole, and the whole is my responsibility.
Keeping the wheels running at OmniService
Ole Edvardsen has managed OmniService AS since the beginning of February this year, during a period when the company's permanent manager has been on sick leave. The main task of the company is to carry out maintenance on nearly 400 buses. The head office is located in Oppegård municipality, but the company has several workshops and service points. His task is to literally keep the wheels turning until the company's permanent manager is back at the helm.
- There will always be things on the table of a manager that need dealing with even if he is not there. As interim manager, I temporarily take on the position of CEO with its responsibilities and authority, and one of my tasks is to make decisions. I also have a board to account to, which expects me to get a grasp of things and to make improvements wherever I can, says Edvardsen.
The most important "wheels" that need to be kept turning are of course the employees and daily operations. Just like it is now his task is to make sure that the buses are ready for operation and can be put in to service to pick up the passengers and carry them wherever they want to go.
Getting to use your full potential
The job as CEO of OmniService AS is Ole Edvardsen's second assignment wearing the hat of interim manager. From March to September 2016 he was hired by Sykehusinnkjøp. This was to conduct the planing and facilitate the start-up and business transfer in connection with the establishment of a new national purchasing function for health enterprises.
Many people think it's a bit scary to come in as a temporary manager in a new business. But the experience of joining new, unknown organisations as an interim manager has been only positive for Ole Edvardsen.
- My experience is of joining very good organisations with incredibly skilled employees who have been open and attentive and who have accepted me as manager from day one. Perhaps the staff see me as innocuous, because I come in neutral and will only be there for a while - I do not know. Confidence and acceptance has never been a problem at all.
In 2014, he felt that the time was ripe for "alighting from the train" at the NSB Group. He was obviously anxious about what it would be like to say goodbye to the managerial job at Mantena where he had been for 14 years, with all its security and stability, in favour of an unpredictable existence in the interim management market.
The first assignments he took were as a consultant and adviser. Positive experiences and exciting challenges triggered new assignments, and in the role of interim manager, he now feels that he is really taking advantage of his full potential.
- As a leader type I am an all-rounder. I like all aspects of management: setting goals, creating strategies, organising implementations - and of course achieving the goals. I thrive when I get the opportunity to manage people, and I get this opportunity as an interim manager. I am responsible for the whole, not just individual tasks. It suits me very well.
Interim management is not stepping down
Edvardsen happily recommends senior management to others, but warns against seeing it as stepping down. Interim management requires a lot - often even more than the permanent management position many come from. However, if you are prepared to roll up your sleeves and do some lifting, there are according to Edvardsen, considerable personal gains to be had.
- Being able to come into a new organisation and contribute knowledge and experience is very rewarding in itself. In addition, if I can help make improvements for and with the people who work there, it is just win-win!